Scientists and culture managers discussed a master plan for Dong Van Geopark at a workshop in Quan Ba District yesterday.
Announced in April, the plan will divide the park into three preservation zones, focused on Geology Science, Geology-Culture and Ecology, and four tourism centres.
The park will also promote the cultural values of 17 ethnic groups and handicraft villages in four districts (Dong Van, Quan Ba, Yen Minh and Meo Vac).
By 2020, provincial officials hope, tourism income will account for 65 per cent of the local economic structure.
Nguyen Manh Thang, deputy secretary general of the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO, said the site could help preserve regional specialties like tea, honey and herbs and festivities like the Khau Vai Love Market and rain wishing festival, along with other unique customs of the local Tay, Dao, Pa Then and Mong.
Trieu Tai Vinh, the provincial Party Secretary, agreed. He confirmed that the province was home to the largest number of the Mong ethnic people in the country.
“The group has rich cultural features, so it has great potential for cultural tourism development,” he said, “However, to develop in a sustainable way, it’s necessary to figure out a more detailed plan. In the next few months, the province will welcome investors.”
The Dong Van plateau was recognised by UNESCO in 2010 as one of 77 geological parks in the world and the second geological park in Southeast Asia.
The geopark will cover an area of more than 2,300sq.km spanning the four districts. The area is home to over 250,000 people from 17 ethnic groups, of which the Mong make up 70 per cent of the population. Up to 80 per cent of the plateau is covered by limestone.
The number of tourists visiting Ha Giang has increased considerably from 300,000 in 2010 to 400,000 in the last year. Since the beginning of this year, the province has received more than 140,000 tourists.